Diamond Lake Room
Erb Memorial Union (EMU)
1222 E. 13th Ave.

“An Irresistible Commodity: American Cinema and its Impact in Chile”

A Presentation by Dr. Fernando Purcell
Associate Professor at the Instituto de Historia, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

This presentation will discuss the eruption of American cinema in Chile during the first half of the twentieth century–with its larger implications for the role of US films in cultural imperialism in Latin America. Hollywood cinema became an irresistible commodity that all Chileans valued regardless of their social position. Its social and cultural impacts were enormous and turned the United States into a new paradigm of modernity. For Chileans, the consumption of movies, fashions, and manufactured products from the United States provided a way to participate in this “American-style” modernity. But Chileans played a crucial role in these processes, influencing Hollywood’s star system and shaping, with their own preferences and rules of censorship, what was acceptable and desirable in Chile.

Fernando Purcell is Associate Professor at the Institute of History, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis in 2004, and subsequently served as the Associate Head and Head of the History Department at Catholic University of Chile (2006-2015). He has published many books and articles, including ¡Muchos extranjeros para mi gusto! Mexicanos, chilenos e irlandeses en la construcción de California, 1848-1880(Fondo de Cultura Económica, Santiago, 2016); ¡De película! Hollywood y su impacto en Chile, 1910-1950 (Taurus, 2012); and Ampliando miradas. Chile y su historia en un tiempo global (Ril-IHI UC, 2009).

SPONSORS: Robert D. Clark Honors College, Latin American Studies Program, Cinema Studies, Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies, History Department